Climate change is not a distant threat. There is a strong consensus among the scientific community that the Earth’s surface temperature has been steadily increasing; moreover, that this increase has been primarily caused by the human-induced emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs). In November 2014, the White House set the ambitious target of cutting U.S. GHG emissions to 26 to 28 percent below their 2005 level, with the goal of achieving this reduction in 10 years.
Since energy production and consumption accounts for more than 90% of U.S. GHGs, widespread changes must be made in the energy sector in order to meet these reduction goals and help slow global warming.
The majority of utility and solar companies are in direct competition with each other for electricity customers. Customers are torn between these two energy providers; whether they should stick with the stability of the utilities’ grid, or go off-grid and stand to profit from their excess electricity generation. This is unfortunate because the utility and solar companies have the same goal: to provide reliable energy to consumers.
This project focused on finding a better way to align the incentives of utilities and solar companies to achieve a more efficient allocation of resources.
The team designed an online platform to connect multiple stakeholders (i.e., private and public schools, solar companies and vendors, and energy customers), align their incentives, and encourage residential households to reduce their energy consumption. Different touchpoints and interfaces were identified and applied with different stakeholders.
The overall goal of this proposed platform was to reduce energy consumption and increase renewable energy adoption, by:
Appealing broadly to different user types who may or may not be incentivized to change their energy consumption habits.
Targeting multiple users and influencing their behavior